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A level results: Reaction from Medway

Students from across the Towns are receiving those all important A-level results today.

It goes without saying the Class of 2020 have had to put up with unprecedented disruption.

Greenacre Academy head Shelly Bridger and head of sixth form Dan Mallia
Greenacre Academy head Shelly Bridger and head of sixth form Dan Mallia

Because of the lockdown, exams were not taken, meaning schools and colleges have predicted the grades they believe their pupils would have achieved if they'd been able to sit their actual A-levels.

Shelly Bridger, head of Greenacre Academy, Walderslade, said: "It's been difficult, no two ways about it.

"But there have been positives. We have had to get better with technology and working online and we are pleased with the results but it's sad not to see our students hugging each other."

The school's head of sixth form, Dan Mallia, said: "We are so proud at how well the students have adapted and we have made progress in our academic subjects across the board."

Meanwhile student Ben Kilbourn, 18, got distinction stars in business and law.

Greenacres Academy student Ben Kilbourne with his A-level results
Greenacres Academy student Ben Kilbourne with his A-level results

He achieved his results while working as a key worker during lockdown.

He said: "I was working at Tesco 4am to noon, five days a week. I'd come home from my shift and started studying."

He is off to De Montford University, Leicester, to study law.

Ben Capper, 18, got a merit in business and distinction in graphics.

He is going to the University of Kent next year to study architecture.

Greenacres Academy pupil Ben Capper with his A-level results
Greenacres Academy pupil Ben Capper with his A-level results

Ben said: "I'm taking a year off. University won't be the same this year, but I will have to pay the same £9,000 in fees. I am going to get a job, work hard and save money."

Other students who excelled included: Hannah Cossey – distinction*, distinction*, distinction in science, distinction in PE and a C in history – Elliegh Waters – A in criminology, a B in psychology, and distinction*, distinction, distinction in science – Grace Austen – a B in history, B in sociology and an A in psychology.

Peter Cave – distinction*, distinction, distinction in science – Ben Kilbourne – C in history, distinction* in business and distinction* in law – Ryan Edwards – distinction, distinction in graphics and A* in art.

A student who has not received the grades she was predicted is former Medway Youth Council chairman, Anna McGovern.

The teenager, who studied at Rochester Independent College, was hoping to receive A*, A, A.

Former Medway Youth Council chairman Anna McGovern (40487121)
Former Medway Youth Council chairman Anna McGovern (40487121)

But she learnt this morning she'd been given A, A, C – throwing her hopes of attending University College London into doubt.

She said: "It was a bit of a shock; I didn't get what I expected and I know a lot of other people are in the same position as me." One of my grades was a lot lower than had been predicted initially which is quite a shock."

She is going into the appeals process but says she is one of the lucky ones as she had a second offer from another university which she can fall back on.

However, she questioned the handling of the situation, saying it has lacked clarity and transparency.

"I have no idea why I was downgraded," she added – saying a friend had expected a B in one subject and received a D. "Hopefully it will all work out."

Star pupil Elleigh Waters at Walderslade Girls' School
Star pupil Elleigh Waters at Walderslade Girls' School

At Walderslade Girls' School, head of sixth form, Richard Cross, said: "Despite the uncertainty and the government throwing in a curve ball at the last minute, we had some star performances and some have already got university places.

"We have had some appeals from girls unhappy with their results which we shall be looking into on their behalf.

"We have had one of the most improved sixth forms in Medway this year and we would want to make sure our results reflect that. After all, it's the students who have to live with these grades.

"My work is not finished yet. I am sure I will get quite a few emails from girls wanting to appeal."

Kings School's Tomm Gill
Kings School's Tomm Gill

Among the pupils with outstanding results are Elleigh Waters – A in criminology, B in psychology and distinctions in triple science – Hannan Cossey – distinction* in science, distinction in PE and C in history –and Grace Austen – B in history, B in sociology and A in psychology.

At King’s Rochester, 29% of all results were at grades A* to A, 55% at A* to B and 76% at A* to C.

The music department excelled with all pupils achieving A** to A grades. Violinist Carolina Ferreira achieved a D1 (A**) and will be studying at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire while fellow violinist Damian Dimitrov (A*) has been offered a place to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Singer, Laura West (A) will continue her studies at the Junior Royal College of Music.

Other notable triumphs include Tom Gill who achieved 2 A*/1A and will take up a place at Newcastle University to study cell and molecular biology.

Jonas Altenau-Smith (2A/1B) is off to University College London to study German with management studies. Ben Pope (2A*/1A) will study history at the University of Exeter, Hannah Chinyemba (1 A*, 2 A/1B) is heading to University of Warwick to study philosophy and Jadesola Ojedokun, (3 A grades) will study medicine at the University of Sussex.

Principal Ben Charles said: "I am extremely proud of the results achieved. In the most challenging circumstances in living memory, pupils and staff have worked together to produce some outstanding individual achievements. I am delighted for the pupils and thank them for their commitment at an extremely difficult time. I am also grateful to our committed staff who have supported the pupils all the way.”

Early indications at The Howard School, Rainham, are that virtually all students secured the grades necessary to access their chosen university courses, higher apprenticeships and employment routes.

Outstanding individual performances included: Robert Larini – As in mathematics and finance, and an A* in extended project.

Maisie Parry – distinction* in music, distinction* and distinction in double performing arts, and a grade A in the extended project.

Harley Reeve achieved an A* in further mathematics and a grade A in mathematics.

Thomas Aveling students getting their A-level results (40424694)
Thomas Aveling students getting their A-level results (40424694)

Other notable performances included Lucas Payne, Nathan Richens, Lewis Stevens-Sutton, Amaan Mirza, Jack Machin, Luke Jones, Jessica Berry, Rebekka Bradley, Taylor Brassington, Daniel Clake, Lucy Humphries and Harlie Blundell, who all achieved the top grades of A*/B in two or more subjects.

Thomas Aveling in Rochester says the vast majority of students received the estimated grades given by their teachers, with some even improving on them.

Overall results were up in all categories, the proportion of children gaining A*-A was up, B+ grades were up, C+ grades were up as were the progress measures – the difference between what would be expected and what they actually received.

A spokesman said: "We have many students off to university across the country to study physiotherapy, midwifery, textiles, business and law to name just a few.

"There are, unfortunately, some students who had their teacher estimate grades reduced by the national moderation process, and although some of them were understandable – students on the cusp of two grades – others were not and we are very disappointed for these students.

Thomas Aveling students getting their A-level results (40424690)
Thomas Aveling students getting their A-level results (40424690)

"We do believe, however, that all of our students will be able to take their next steps with the grades they received, and this is the most important aspect of grades and doing well in school."

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